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Teaching your children about the natural world


animalsWe introduce our kids to some common animals at a very young age. Which child will not know Cat, Dog, Monkey, Lion and birds like Crow, Pigeon, or Parrots? I realized that however, our children are not exposed to a wider range of the natural living world. How many children know Seagull, Vulture, Yak, Mongoose, Hyrax, or Wildebeest at an age of 3, 4, or even 9?

The activities I list below will open up a new world to your children and increase their knowledge of all these creatures. You can add other learning to these with Phonics and Alphabets as well.

 

 

Age: 6+. These activities are designed for any child who can independently cut, glue, converse, and has a basic understanding of the living world around us. Alternatively, parents can conduct this activity for their toddlers or preschoolers.

You need:

  1. A large flat surface to work on: like the table or the floor.
  2. Print outs of several insects – uncut sheet: check image below for some of the insect names.
  3. Print outs of several animals – each animal cut into a square card. Make sure you have a variety of animal types like ones that live in the cold, in tropical or warm areas, mammals, non-mammals, etc. You may choose to keep the sheet uncut if you wish for the kids to do it.
  4. A pair of scissors per child.
  5. Glue stick per child.
  6. Markers and crayons for decoration.

ACTIVITY ONE – INSECT GARDEN

  1. Introduce children to all the insects you have on the sheet/s. You may share some fun facts about each insect at this point.
  2. Inform the kids that they are going to make an insect garden of their own, the way they like it. Show them an example from the image below and mention that different children make it in different ways and they are all ‘okay’. There is no one way to make it.
  3. Have children cut out all the insects. If you notice in the picture, I did not have insects printed in an aligned manner. This means it wasn’t as simple as cutting them into squares. Children had to work hard to cut around rounded areas without cutting into the next image. This helps increase attention, motor movements, eye-brain-hand co-ordination, and overall practice!

Allow them to stick their insects on a blank, white page to create their unique ‘Insect Farm’ or ‘Insect Garden’. They may use markers and colors to decorate the space and even draw.

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Rima's has a Master's Degree in Psychology from Mumbai, and is a certified Childcare Professional and Life Coach from USA. She has written numerous articles for parents and women in Tanzania, India, and in USA. Her work includes writing for airline magazines and editing internationally published books. She has extensive experience in training teachers and parents and working with children aged 2-7 years. Her parenting page can be accessed at Parenting Booth , and her personal blog here.


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